Tuesday, 30 September 2008

The short lookout tower - complete

.....well, OK, not completley complete! - These pictures are prior to base painting and flocking. BUT, I'm not overly keen on the way the base and flock have turned out, so will probably do that again.

Last night was a 'casting' night, as I am running low on blocks. I need to do another night of casting, then leave them for a couple of nights to dry, and hopefully should get a couple more structures under way this weekend.

I got some realistic water plus some clear fishing line the other day, and want to fill one of the fountains and add a water flow. However, as I have put my original fountain up for sale on E-bay, I cannot mess about with that - (Just in case it all goes horribly wrong!)I have therefoe set aside another set to make the fountain again. Of course if the first one doesn't sell, I can mess about with that to my hearts content.

Monday, 29 September 2008

First couple of structures for sale.

I've put a couple of these buildings up for auction on E-bay. It's a vicious circle. I want to make enough to buy more Herculite, and possibly some new moulds. I'd like to buy a set of Egyptian moulds next time round.......and of course the remaining Fieldstone moulds.

Dwarf House

Water Fountain

Believe it or not, I'm actually hoping these don't sell at the moment. Mainly because I now have a bottle of realistic water, which I'm really looking forward to playing with. BUT, I don't want to end up ruining this piece half-way through an auction, then have to say to the buyer - "Sorry mate, I've gone and totally screwed it up. You can't have it."

That kind of thig only leads to bad comments - whichever way it goes:

"That's OK, send it to me anyway"...... "Oh yes, you're right, it is shit, please accept this negative feedback for your trouble." OR "So you won't send it to me, I bet it's really good, and you just want to keep it for yourself, or sell it to somebody else for a better price. Please accept this negative feedback for your honesty".

SO, I won't be messing about with it.

I have cast up almost enough blocks to make a new one, but even so, they won't be fully dried for a while, and then I will have to make and paint it all again.

The dwarf house I just want to play with!

Dwarf House completed + New fountain.

Well, over the weekend I painted all my existing buildings. I also built and painted a fountain and round barricade (Which has now become part of the larger ruin / building.)

This is the painted dwarf dwelling.

This is the water fountain. It should become a dungeon feature, with a potentially valuable gold centre piece - (However, I'd be wary of any water in it, just look at the green residue under the water line!) - I still need to sort out some clear water type resin.

Friday, 26 September 2008

A New Building - Or extension to the last?

On Wednesday night I assembeld my second Hirst Arts Building. It took me until 1am, and gave me the sort of headaches I am sure were suffered by whoever invented the Borg Warner Automatic Gearbox!!!

It is a larger structure than my first attempt. It is also destructable. That is, there are removable sections, so that during the course of a game, the building walls can be breached, eventually rendering it to a ruin.

Originally it was designed as a stand-alone building. However while comparing the two buildings, it soon became clear that the first one works very well as a second storey for this new addition.

Next step of course is to paint the buildings, and texture any roof / ground surfaces.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

HIRST ARTS First Building.

Last night I made my very first HIRST ARTS building with blocks that I had cast.... I say I cast, what I actually mean is I, with the aid of my 2 young sons cast. As a result of Ryan doing most of the mixing, stirring and pouring, we had a few variable results. Some blocks came out perfect, others had a few air-bubbles, and some were riddled with air-bubbles... BUT, all were more than adequate for use.

The moulds used were the Fieldstone sets. This is an excellent beginners set, as due to it's very nature a few minor imperfections, and even a few major ones can easily be worked around. (If we had been using some of the other moulds with smoother surfaces we could well have suffered with a few less pleasing blocks.)

Believe it or not, we even had some more than reasonable results by filling empty moulds with the soft plaster scraped from the first mould, although one of these did have more bubbles.

In just one evening, we had 4 sets of curved blocks, 2 or 3 sets of straight ones and a handful of fieldstone accessories / ruins.

Once dry, the boys had great fun piling them up and making baricades and small castles. It really didn't matter if any blocks got damaged (not that they did), because if any did get lost or damaged, we just had to re-cast a few more! The boys were free to experiment with their buildings however they wanted to.

Last night, I decided to stick a few blocks together to make a permanent structure. Only a small one to start with to get to grips with the way it works. It's a single roomed dwarf dwelling about 4" x 3" simple straight walls with a flat roof and spiral steps on the outside to reach the walled roof area which serves as a lookout point.

I used a very cheap version of No Nails bought from the Pound Shop which works fine for this sort of project. and within an hour it was designed, put in place and glued. (Photographs Below.)

Monday, 22 September 2008

Igidbor The First

Igidbor is the name Ryan has given to the first of his earned egyptian undead warriors.

I will start out by explaining what is happening. Currently my eldest son is struggling with reading. It's not because he's not clever, it's because he can't be bothered to try most of the time. Maybe the books he is bringing home don't inspire him to want to read - (This has actually shown up as a possible reason, as I bought him a copy of a book called Vesuvius Poovius from a charity shop at the weekend, and even though it has some very difficult words in it, he is ploughing his way through it, and whizzing through the key words with ease. Even a lot of the trickier words are presenting few problems - I think it's because mummy can't read some of it, and it's about poo!)

Anyway - I digress. One of the ways I thought I could encourage him to read, was through bribery. Eventually I hope the enjoyment of the stories is all the encouragement required to spur him on. But at the moment I have opted for the "Do your reading and writing, and earn good stuff" ploy. It's working too!

I bought a small number of figures from Black-Tree Designs, which have now arrived. these are to go with the small Egyptian tomb room we made and painted together.

To earn the figures he has to read whatever books the school send home, plus a little extra reading of a book / books that we choose together (which are likely to be more interesting) every night. He must also write out whatever spelling homework that the school send home, which is normally at the end of the week.

I've bought a hardback book which I am startign from both ends. At one end, Ryan will draw each warrior as he gets it, give it a name and write it next to the warrior. I will also paste in photographs of them at whatever stage he wants. Currenly he wants them in bare metal, but if he decides he wants to paint them later, or wants me to paint them, then that's what we will do..

SO - Igidbor The First. The name was written while I was making a cup of tea, when I asked how he came about the name he said "Because he comes from Egypt - (So the name is pronounced Egypdor.) I didn't correct the spelling for a couple of reasons:
1 - It looks good as it is.
2 - It's a name, so can be spelled however he wants.
3 - There is no reason to quash his enthusiasm, when he is obviously trying really hard.

Hopefully, all going well, he should earn his next figure next weekend, and at the same time progress further with his reading and writing.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Why I have not updated for a while.....

so you noticed??? -

Ok, a couple of reasons. 1 is that I have not had spare time for wargaming for a couple of weeks. We've been camping,I have to cultivate a vegetable patch and as well as all that, my mother has introdued me to the evil that is the Nintendo DS!

I have been hooked on brain training for a while. I wonder if it will do any good.

I am also ging to be invovled with playtesting one of the latest additions to the Song Of... (Swords & Heroes) series of games. This will be Song Of Fear & Faith, which I am looking forward to. HOWEVER, I am certain that any details will be strictly confidential, so I doubt if I will be able to divulge more than the scantest of details.